Project description

Centre of Advanced Research in Forest Health and Forest Genetics to Enhance Bioeconomy

In order to reduce the use of fossil raw materials, a more sustainable bioeconomy will have to make a gigantic leap forward in the near future. In the Nordic countries forest has traditionally been the main source for bio materials. As a result of this the Nordic countries have a leading role in developing forest management methods and technical solutions for the utilization of wood. New demands require new solutions. In order for the Nordic region to remain competitive in the future bioeconomy, innovations in both forest management and the forest industry are required.

For forest management this means an increase in productivity and new, multi-purpose, quality requirements for wood raw material. The basis for a good productive forest is the selection of the right regeneration material, superior in growth and quality,  as well as adapted and resistant, that should be available in large quantities in short term. This requires knowhow on:

  • testing methods (more efficient and quicker)
  • cost efficient mass propagation methods (vegetative propagation is the only way to make such material available for large scale forestry is short time)
  • non-destructive assessment methods for wood quality (in order to be able to select for wood quality in an young stage)

However, also the sustainability of the Nordic forests is under pressure, especially due to the predicted climate change. The adaptability of trees to cope with climate change is still uncertain and the risks for substantial damages caused by (new) pests and diseases increase. In order to minimize these future risks and to optimize forest production we need more information on:

  • genetic plasticity e.g. in changing environment (warming, extreme weather conditions)
  • balancing genetic gains versus genetic diversity
  • interactions between trees and spreading / enforced pests and pathogens
  • deployment of suitable genetic material for specific sites

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